Two groups that produce handmade quilts for cancer patients in Casselman and Russell are getting a boost from $8,000 in grants from RTOERO (Retired Teachers of Ontario). District 32 Prescott-Russell (Anglophone) and District 45 EstaRiO (Francophone) of RTOERO are each giving $4,000 to Victoria’s Quilts Canada towards new quilting machines.

“People who are dealing with cancer need physical comfort, as well as spiritual comfort in knowingthey are not alone in their struggle,” said David Nieman, president, District 32 Prescott-Russell, RTOERO.

“This project also supports the volunteers that make the quilts, in coming together around a common project that serves people in need, and creating bonds of friendship,” added Gerald Danis, President,District 45 EstaRiO, RTOERO. They are funding the Casselman quilting group, known asCourtepointes Victoria’s Quilts.

The funding is part of RTOERO’s annual Project – Service to Others (PSTO). Districts apply forindividual projects (education-related or other community initiatives) that support a local, national orinternational program. Up to $4,000 per project is available.

Each fall, a committee of RTOERO members assesses the merits of each PSTO submission. For2020, RTOERO funded 20 projects for a total of $77,000. These projects range from providing reading resources to a home for seniors, to supporting a youth camp, to reducing barriers for education in Cameroon. Since the inception of PSTO 20 years ago, RTOERO has donated $1.6 million to more than 500 programs and projects.

“RTOERO members care about their communities and serve them every day,” said Rich Prophet, the chair of the board at RTOERO. “The PSTO grant program is another way we can give back.”

RTOERO is a bilingual, trusted voice on healthy, active living in the retirement journey for the broader education community. With 81,000+ members in 51 districts across Canada, the organization is the largest national provider of non-profit group health benefits for education retirees. Members work in or are retired from the early years, schools and school boards, post-secondary, and any other capacity in education. They believe in a better future, together.

District 32 Prescott-Russell has almost 200 members and stretches from Russell to Hawkesbury.  District 45 EstaRiO has close to 650 members and includes three units, in the east (Hawkesbury, L’Orignal, St-Eugène, Vankleek Hill, Chute-à-Blondeau and Ste-Anne-de-Prescott), west (Alfred, Bourget, Curran Plantagenet, Rockland, Clarence Creek, St-Pascal, Hammond, Treadwell, Lefaivre and Wendover) and south (Casselman, St-Albert, Limoges, St-Bernardin, Embrun,, St-Isidore and Fournier).